Friday, December 13, 2013
PITTSFIELD — A Waterville woman was listed in stable condition Tuesday a day after her car plunged into the Sebasticook River and she was rescued by a local police officer.
Waterville's Delores Whitee was about 40 yards from the shore in about 12 feet of water in the Sebasticook River in Pittsfield when she was rescued by two police officers and a firefighter Monday morning, according to Pittsfield Police Department.
Staff photo by Rachel Ohm
Dolores Withee, 69, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after the accident on Route 100 left her trapped inside her vehicle, a 2006 Subaru Forester.
Withee’s daughter Pat Grenier, of Waterville, said Tuesday that her mother was resting in the hospital and was stable.
Grenier said she thinks the car may have hydroplaned, causing the accident. Although police initially said a medical condition might have been a factor, Withee was in good health Monday morning when she left Waterville to visit another daughter who lives in Pittsfield, Grenier said.
“She has days when she probably shouldn’t drive, but yesterday wasn’t one of them,” Grenier said. “She is very stubborn though, and although the weather was bad, she didn’t want to wait a day to go to Pittsfield. When she didn’t get there, we were very concerned and started making phone calls until someone told us there had been an accident.”
The vehicle began to sink in about 12 feet of water near the Burnham Dam, police said.
Withee was rescued by two police officers and a firefighter who swam to the vehicle, punched in the rear window with a police baton and dragged her out of the sinking car, said Officer Jeff Vanadestine of the Pittsfield Police Department.
Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
click image to enlarge
Pittsfield police officer Jeff Vanadestine walks back to his cruiser as firefighters search the Sebasticook River for debris and collect oils after a vehicle struck a nearby pole and went into the water on Monday. Vanadestine was one of the first at the scene and jumped into the water to rescue the female driver.
Staff photo by David Leaming